The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players wager money. The highest hand wins the pot. Typically, the game is played with a standard 52-card pack plus wild cards (jokers). The game can be played by any number of people, but it works best with 6 or more players.

The game starts with each player placing an ante. After that, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals each player 2 cards face down. These are the player’s personal cards. Then the betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind.

After the betting phase has ended, three more cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. These are called the “flop” and they are community cards that everyone can use to create a 5-card poker hand.

Each player must make a decision about whether to call, raise, or fold. A player can call if they want to continue the round and raise if they think they have a good hand. They can also fold if they don’t want to play any more and give up their chance to win the pot.

One of the key aspects of poker is learning to read your opponents. Look at their body language and how they handle the chips. If they have a full, ear-to-ear smile and a relaxed posture, they are probably playing with a lot of confidence. But if they are tense and fidgeting with their chips, they may be trying to hide their weakness.